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“In addressing and bringing into the light the shameful treatment of women in Irish history and in affording voice for their emancipation and empowerment, Barfoot, might just be one of the most important voices in contemporary Irish music”

Mike Davies -  FATEA

Contemporary Folk Artist

"Vocals to Melt The Hearts of Angels" - DAVID PRATT, FRUK

new album HOME

out now

Lewis Barfoot is an Irish/English contemporary folk artist & singer-songwriter based in Cork. She writes mystic and majestic songs that stop you in your tracks. Working with an uncomplicated loveliness of sound, she blends ethereal, evocative vocals with original compositions and reinventions of traditional songs and displays a fearless and disarming honesty in her lyrics. She has been captivating audiences with her beautiful voice that “Melts the Hearts of Angels” according to Folk Radio UK and is frequently compared to the likes of Kate Rusby, Sandy Denny and Maíre Brennan. Her debut album, Glenaphuca released in 2021 received great support from RTÉ 1, FRUK, BBC Radio Ulster and RTÉ na Gaeltachta. Her sophomore album HOME, released in November 2023, welcomes rivulets of jazz amidst her folk palette and has garnered great praise. Lewis sang in Irish with the folk ensemble Rún, playing at Glastonbury, The Union Chapel and UK folk festivals, releasing two EP's with them Beidh Aonach Amárach and Seo is Siud.

 

GLENAPHUCA

Lewis's first album released in March 2021. Lewis describes Glenaphuca as a folk prayer to the ancestors and is an album rich with evocative, autobiographical songs that speak of Lewis’ wish to unearth the legacy of her family roots in Ireland. Named after her Grandmother’s farm in East Cork, now an abandoned stone site weathered by neglect and home to birds, briers and lost memories, Glenaphuca sings straight to the wounds held by the maternal lineages of Ireland. Profound and poignant Lewis pays homage to her Irish roots and the women who came before her. "A prayer to their lives and a liberation of the suffering they went to the grave with". Lewis balances compassionate musings and reflections on life, death and loss with the deepest grace. In the elegiac lament for Lewis’s mother White Dress, she ponders life after death, with The Fox and Twa Corbies she honours the natural cycles of death in nature and in Transmission Complete she celebrates dying how you wish to die. Elsewhere in Ballinatray, Lewis gives voice to the untold story of the women in her family in Cork whose had been incarcerated, silenced and shamed at the hands of the church and state.

 

Glenaphuca was produced by Lewis at Soup Studios in London with Giles Barrett and was mastered by Pete Maher. Glenaphuca features guest musicians Elisabeth Flett (Fiddle, Backing Vocals) Matt Dibble (Clarinet, Piano), Hannah Thomas (Cello, Backing Vocals), Maria Rodriguez Reina (Cello on White Dress), Ansuman Biswas (Percussion) and Jonny Huddersfield Helm (Drums). Having previously performed alongside Bróna McVittie in Rún, Lewis has since cut her teeth as a solo artist on the London folk circuit, appearing regularly for institutions such as Nest Collective. Lewis has recently moved back to her maternal home of Ireland and is happily settled in Cork.

HOME

HOME is Lewis's sophomore released on 17th November 2023.  Her musical journey dives more deeply into Irish heritage and sheds light on a dark past of institutional incarceration, delicately transformed by Lewis into a collection of beautiful songs. Through her evocative lyrics, and the exquisite purity of her voice “HOME” holds the power to heal the wounds of the past and inspire future generations to live without fear. The songs of HOME are a mixture of ethereal folk ballads, rousing anthemic tunes, traditional folk song from Ireland and the UK, a touch of blues and a stirring a-Capella choral finale. Comparisons to acclaimed artists such as Kate Rusby, Sandy Denny, Máire Brennan and Julie Fowlis further underscore Lewis’s status as a rising star on the folk scene and a gifted and captivating singer-songwriter.

 

HOME was recorded at Wavefield Studios and SoundSound Studios in Cork. Mixed by Giles Barrett (Lightship 95) and mastered by Sam Proctor (Lismore Mastering). With guest musicians: Elisabeth Flett (Violin) Gabriel Buffa (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet), Lea Miklódy (Cello), Davie Ryan (Percussion) and Michael Riordan (Double Bass).

THE EARLY YEARS

Born in Walthamstow, London to an Irish Mum and English Dad on the edge of Epping Forest Lewis spent her weekends romping through the woods with her Dad and siblings; identifying leaves, making plaster casts of animal footprints, collecting stones and making an ally of the natural world. She grew up listening to her Dad play fingerpicking folk covers on guitar and banjo and her Mum’s record collection which comprised of Joan Baez, The Beatles Sergeant Pepper, Peer Gynt and The Dubliners. It would be fair to say that the folk music, close harmonies and undercurrents of Calypso in Bagpuss  also influenced Lewis as a child.

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